X399 Motherboard, Ryzen 5 Launch BIOS, and DDR5
BulkZerker: Can you comment on a rumor I read about a high-end prosumer focused motherboard (the X399)? Is this just idle gossip?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Well you can't believe everything you hear on the internet. But at the same time, if there was an unannounced product, I couldn't talk about it anyway.
Vesperan: If I buy a AM4 motherboard before Ryzen 5 launches, will it post and boot with the current shipped BIOS once I install a Ryzen 5 CPU?
DON WOLIGROSKI: I just asked our motherboard chipset product manager, Steve Basset, to be sure: Any Ryzen 7, 5, or 3 will be fine on the first-revision BIOSes. You're golden!
aeriolwinters: Will the AM4 platform have future revisions to enable DDR5 compatibility?
DON WOLIGROSKI: As far as I can remember, every major memory technology has required a new type of socket. So DDR5 probably won't fit in a DDR4 memory slot when it arrives. Processors are often backwards-compatible with older board revisions; I think that's what you're referring to. AMD has a history of supporting that more than the competition, but it's too early to make any specific promises or even speculation, sorry.
jdwii: In certain titles, such as Watch Dogs 2 the 6900K beats a 7700K but in that same title the 1800X is in parity with the Intel Core i5 in terms of performance. It’s an unexpected result. Can you please explain why as the 1800X beats a 6900X in most multi-threaded tasks, but has Core i5 level gaming performance?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Frankly, Ryzen is a brand-new architecture. Game developers have tightly focused on Intel for years, there will be a ramp-up as game developers learn what they're doing that might not play well with Ryzen, and how to take advantage of its strengths.
We have already improved Ryzen performance for games like DOTA2, Ashes of the Singularity, and Warhammer: Total War with relatively little developer effort. We're working to do what we can and make sure developers have access to Ryzen hardware and our expertise to get rid of these strange game performance anomalies.
Having said that, Ryzen processors provide an excellent gaming experience today, even if it's not the fastest at everything it's still very smooth. And things are only getting better! So, we have good reason to be optimistic.
BuildCrisp2213: Will the 6 Core Ryzen 5 processors be as fully utilized as the Ryzen 7 series for future applications, or do you think Ryzen 7 is a better investment in terms of future performance and longevity? Which processor do you think will most optimized for current applications, and which one will be best for future applications?
DON WOLIGROSKI: Many applications (Rendering/encryption/encoding) will take as many cores and threads as you can throw at them, right now. Those are the easy targets for multi-core optimization.
Aside from that, we expect game developers to make use of DirectX 12 and Vulkan to take better use of CPU resources going forward. This benefit all multi-core processors, but the more cores and threads, the more the benefit. In these situations, Ryzen 7 CPUs should perform better than Ryzen 5.
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